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Vaccine-Autism Study Is Retracted

A major British medical journal on Tuesday retracted a flawed study linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism and bowel disease.

The retraction by The Lancet comes a day after a competing medical journal, BMJ, issued an embargoed commentary calling for The Lancet to formally retract the study. The commentary was to have been published on Wednesday.

The BMJ commentary said once the study by British surgeon and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues appeared in 1998 in The Lancet, ''the arguments were considered by many to be proven and the ghastly social drama of the demon vaccine took on a life of its own.''

Since the controversial paper was published, British parents abandoned the vaccine in droves, leading to a resurgence of measles. Subsequent studies have found no proof that the vaccine is connected to autism, though some parents are still wary of the shot.

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